Vincent Leonardi married Venecia Andrew of Saint Augustine. He was a skilled architect and master mechanic; he built some of the finest homes in early Tampa. At the outbreak of the Civil War, he volunteered his services to the
Confederacy. He was captured by the Federals and imprisoned at Fort San Marco in Saint Augustine for the duration. In later years Vincent was engaged in farming, fruit culture and stock raising. He developed the Leonardi
grapefruit, the most flavorable variety cultivated up to that time. Old timers remembered him as a highly respected citizen, "honest and truthful."
"Alex [Leonardi] came to Point Pinellas with John Bethell in 1867, and his father and the rest of the family followed in 1868." brackets DGH
St. Petersburg and Its People, by Walter P. Fuller
St. Petersburg, FL : Great Outdoors Pub. Co., 1972
"Vincent Leonardy, a Confederate veteran, came in 1868 from another section of Florida, and bought 40 acres on Lakeview Avenue and developed one of the fine citrus groves in the area. Entirely by chance, one of the grapefruit trees
produced exceptionally fine fruit, of different flavor and appearance from any of the other seedlings in the grove, which for a period was locally and even regionally famous and became known as the Leonardy grapefruit. But it did
not reproduce evenly, and dependably, from cuttings and was eventually abandoned by the industry in favor of better and newer varieties. In 1883 Vincent's son, Alexander, bought 40 acres in the northwest section and developed a
second grove." (page 90) Gulfport Historical Museum Leonardi
Received from Marti Patton via Doug Halsema. Created by Marti's mother, Grace Eugenia Prior.